Ishan Kishan will bat against Pakistan in the middle order at the 2023 Asia Cup; Sanju Samson is not expected to be used

India prefers Ishan, who is already guaranteed a spot in the squad, rather than creating selection issues by attempting Samson at No. 4, as the world cup roster will be selected on September 5.

Pallekele: Rahul Dravid invited the squad over for supper at his house last week while India’s training camp was taking place in Bangalore. The following evening, players poured out of the elevator and gathered with head selector Ajit Agarkar and other support personnel. Ishan Kishan was the most upbeat of them all, making jokes, slapping people on the back, and overall being in a good mood. For Ishan, these are good times. He has a chance to clinch a middle-order position in the world cup thanks to three consecutive half-centuries against the West Indies and injury niggles to leading candidates. And it will begin with the Asia Cup, when India plans to test him against Pakistan and Nepal at No. 4 or No. 5.

The latest experiment by the Indian team management is to bat Ishan Kishan in the middle of the order because KL Rahul, who is recovering from a groin complaint, would miss the Asia Cup group stage. The team management intends to try Kishan in at No. 4 or No. 5 despite the fact that Sanju Samson has traveled with the team as a reserve for Rahul since they believe his prospects of making the World Cup roster, which will be announced on September 5, are slim.

As an opener who notably scored a double century against Bangladesh, Kishan had his position as a third choice opener secured as Shikhar Dhawan has been out from the plans since last December. Even without Rahul, India’s middle order has remained a source of uncertainty because the top three players, Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli, appear to be in place. Even more so after Shreyas Iyer, who had usually performed well at No. 4, went hurt. And this is truer still now because Suryakumar Yadav failed to shine in that role.

While participating in Samson would keep them in the flexible position that captain Rohit discussed in the news conference following the announcement of the Asia Cup, it is understood that the team management does not want to create more challenges thus close to the World Cup. Samson’s return into the running so close to the World Cup will create additional problems because Kishan’s position is already secured. The team management did contemplate switching up the top three earlier this year because Rahul’s availability was a major problem. Rohit or Kohli were both seriously considered to bat at position number four.

The Indian think-tank has chosen not to overtake the top three, though, following a week-long training at the KSCA facilities in Alur on the outskirts of Bangalore. The Indian Express is aware that Rohit preferred the top three to stay in their spots because they provided stability at the top. Instead, the team management has chosen to test Kishan in the middle order because he is a left-hander and would also add something fresh to the XI despite not being the first choice player.

Kishan averages only 22.75 in the six games he has played in the middle-order (at No. 4), and he frequently has trouble against spinners in the early stages of his innings. Suryakumar Yadav will most likely be the other of the two backup batsmen in the lineup, joining Kishan.

selection of the World Cup team

On September 5, the day following India’s group match against Nepal, the senior national selection committee is expected to convene to select the World Cup roster. On September 5, the participating countries are required to provide the ICC with their squad list. All indications point to the meeting taking place in Kandy that day, with chairman of selectors Ajit Agarkar joining the group on Thursday.

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